It’s a little bit after one in the morning when the doorbell to Aziraphale’s apartment rings.
He stirs drowsily in bed, clumsily pushing himself into a sitting position. He may not need sleep but he certainly likes it, and being woken up prematurely is never a pleasant experience.
The doorbell rings again, cutting through the heavy silence of his apartment. Then it rings a third time, and a fourth, each press of the bell somehow more urgent than the last.
Crowley, Aziraphale thinks, and that’s all it takes to get him out of bed.
He stumbles through his living room, nearly tripping over the couch and narrowly missing the coffee table, making it to the front door in record time. He usually leaves his door unlocked, but, on a whim, bolted it before going to sleep last night, and he curses himself and his safety-obsessed brain as he unlatches the locks with fumbling fingers.
Sure enough, when the door swings open, Crowley is standing on the step outside. He’s clad in his normal skinny jeans and dark shirt, but his sunglasses are gone-- his sunglasses are gone, leaving his yellow-green eyes wild and terrified.
“My dear,” Aziraphale murmurs, voice still foggy with sleep, and then he realizes that Crowley is crying, tears dripping down his face and landing on the collar of his shirt.
“Angel,” Crowley croaks, voice choked in a way Aziraphale’s never heard before, and then he collapses.
Aziraphale catches him as he falls forward. The demon claws his fingers into Aziraphale’s shirt, clutching at him desperately, face buried into his pyjama-clad chest.
Aziraphale scoops Crowley up easily, bridal-style, and reaches around him to close the door. Crowley fits securely in his arms, looping his hands around Aziraphale’s neck and sobbing incoherently into his clothing. It’s easy for Aziraphale to forget how strong his own hands are-- he is a celestial being, after all-- but as he carries Crowley through the darkened apartment and over to the bed, he realizes that Crowley weighs practically nothing to him.
He eases Crowley down onto the mattress but Crowley doesn’t release his iron grip.
“Stay with me, angel,” Crowley begs, voice so utterly raw that it breaks Aziraphale’s heart. “Stay with me, please, please, don’t leave me, please don’t go, please, please--”
“I’m here,” Aziraphale soothes, sliding them both down onto the covers. He lies next to Crowley, pulling the demon into his embrace. “I’m here, darling, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I thought--” Crowley gasps “-- you were gone. I saw-- the fire, I didn’t know-- didn’t know where it had c-- come from, and I thought--”
“I’m so sorry,” Aziraphale whispers into Crowley’s hair, pressing his lips to those russet locks in the way he’s wanted to for a long, long time now. Not like this, though-- never under these circumstances. Tonight, it’s about comfort; it’s about making sure Crowley feels okay.
It’s about making Crowley realize that Aziraphale is never, ever leaving him.
Then Crowley tilts his face upwards, and, before Aziraphale knows what’s happening, he’s slamming their mouths together in a messy kiss. For a moment, Aziraphale can’t help but give in to it-- the softness of Crowley’s lips, the taste of him, like something warm and musky, the way he presses their bodies together so that their limbs are perfectly aligned--
But not like this. He can’t have Crowley, not like this, not when Crowley is still weeping and hurting.
Aziraphale breaks the kiss and Crowley doesn’t protest, choosing to instead tug the angel closer, closer, as if he wants to meld them into one entity.
“My love,” Aziraphale breathes, holding him probably tightly enough to hurt him, but Crowley doesn’t pull away. “My dear, my sweetheart.”
“I’m not--” Crowley manages, but Aziraphale shushes him before he can continue.
“I’ll never leave you,” Aziraphale says lowly, voice quiet, and neither of them speak after that, choosing instead to hold each other under the beams of moonlight that filter through the gauzy curtains of the window overhead.
Aziraphale wakes up to the brightness of sunbeams dancing across his face. Usually, he lingers in bed for a bit, enjoying the warmth of the blankets; today, though, he remembers Crowley.
Sleepily, Aziraphale gropes around the sheets. They’re empty. Cold.
It’s a realization that hurts more than he thought it would.
So he blinks his eyes open, wondering where Crowley could have gone. Maybe he went back home? Back to his own apartment?
“Good morning,” drawls a familiar voice, and Aziraphale sits up so fast that he almost gives himself whiplash.
Crowley is standing in the open doorway between the kitchen and the sitting room/bedroom (it’s a multi-purpose room, okay? Aziraphale sleeps in the bed at night and sits on the nearby couch to watch the telly in the afternoons. It works for him.) He’s leaning casually against the doorframe, all long and lanky limbs, and the sight of him alone is enough to make Aziraphale’s heart swell.
“Crowley,” Aziraphale breathes, more surprised than anything. “You stayed.”
“I suppose I did,” Crowley replies in an obvious attempt to sound nonchalant, averting his eyes. He still isn’t wearing sunglasses-- which makes sense, Aziraphale supposes, since he probably left them back at his own place-- and his eyes are startling against the rest of his face.
“You have nice eyes,” Aziraphale blurts before thinking it through. His brain is always sleep-addled in the morning, so he really can’t be helped for the words that come out of his mouth.
Crowley stares at him. “I have nice eyes,” he repeats, voice flat.
Aziraphale finds his own face grow a touch warm. “Yes.”
“I’m a demon,” Crowley reminds him, his go-to excuse for rejecting every compliment ever. “My eyes aren’t nice.”
Aziraphale sniffs. “Well, I think they’re rather pretty. So.”
“Pretty--” Crowley scoffs, incredulous and red-faced, as Aziraphale climbs out of bed. His white silk pajamas are the slightest bit rumpled, probably from where Crowley’s hands had been curled in the fabric last night. At least, that’s the last thing Aziraphale remembers before he had fallen asleep-- Crowley had been nuzzling into his embrace and everything had been quiet, save for the sound of his sniffling.
“Anyway,” Crowley continues, “I made you breakfast. I know you enjoy human food and all that.”
“Oh,” Aziraphale says, oddly touched. “Thank you.”
He follows Crowley into the kitchen, where there’s a plate of what looks to be French toast (something Aziraphale had tasted at a restaurant once and had enjoyed immensely) sitting on the round wooden table.
His eyes widen in delight. Crowley steps up to the table, pulling out one of the two chairs and gesturing, slightly mockingly, for Aziraphale to sit down.
“You’re a true gentleman,” Aziraphale beams, sitting down in the chair, and Crowley rolls his eyes before stalking to the other side of the small table and taking a seat across from him. Still, Aziraphale doesn’t miss the flush that taints Crowley’s sharp cheekbones with a dusting of pink. It’s a rather alluring look on him.
He doesn’t say so, of course, choosing instead to cut a piece of French toast and pop it into his mouth.
“Oh my God,” Aziraphale mumbles, blue eyes going comically round. “This is incredible, Crowley.”
“Watch your word choice,” Crowley reminds him mildly, but Aziraphale is too busy digging into his breakfast to apologize for saying God.
“Since when can you cook?” Aziraphale babbles. “Have you always been able to do this? For the thousands of years we’ve known each other? This is amazing, oh my-- you’re amazing.”
“Shut up,” Crowley growls, but there’s no real heat behind it. His face has gotten even more flushed, though, and Aziraphale thinks he’s adorable-- yet another thing he obviously doesn’t say aloud.
Aziraphale takes another bite of the sweet, fluffy breakfast. Crowley stares at him intently the entire time he eats, almost as if he’s afraid Aziraphale will disappear if he blinks.
When the plate has been scraped clean, Aziraphale sets down his fork and knife and clears his throat.
“Last night,” Aziraphale begins carefully, and Crowley blanches.
“We’re actually going to talk about this?” he demands, incredulous.
Aziraphale nods, hesitant. “We-- we have to talk about it, Crowley, you were-- crying--”
Crowley scowls. “I’m fine. It was-- a fluke.”
“A fluke?” Aziraphale echoes, barely believing his ears. “How was-- how was any of that a fluke?”
He doesn’t mention the kiss. Doesn’t mention how it may have been a fluke for Crowley, but it hadn’t been a fluke for him.
Don’t be selfish, Aziraphale, he scolds himself. This is about Crowley. Not about your own hopeless feelings for him.
“I’m a demon,” Crowley repeats for the umpteenth time. He looks extremely irritated. “I don’t cry, I just--”
“You’re allowed to have bloody feelings!” Aziraphale bursts out, slamming his hands down on the table. The empty dish in front of him rattles slightly at the force. Crowley blinks at him, jaw going slack in shock.
“I’m sorry,” Aziraphale says quietly. “I just--” He sighs. “I want you to be happy, Crowley. And I know you think-- think you don’t deserve happiness, but you do. I just-- I want you to know that you deserve good things. That you’re allowed to… to be sad, sometimes. To feel things. Don’t punish yourself by keeping it all bottled up, don’t--”
“I thought I lost you,” Crowley interrupts, voice very soft. His eyes are shadowed. “I thought you were gone, angel. I thought… I thought I was never going to see you again. I want--”
Crowley takes a deep, shaky breath.
“What?” Aziraphale breathes. “What do you want, darling?”
Because he’ll give it to him. Whatever Crowley wants, Aziraphale will find some way to get it to him, no matter how impossible it may seem-- like that delivery of holy water into Crowley’s hands all those centuries ago.
Crowley stands up, chair scraping along the kitchen tiles. Aziraphale mirrors his movement because he doesn’t know what else to do.
Slowly, Crowley crosses around the table so that he’s standing face-to-face with Aziraphale. He takes the angel’s hands in his own; his fingers are trembling.
“I have been in love with you for six thousand years,” Crowley chokes out, and the words look like they physically pain him to voice. “And I am so, so afraid of-- of losing you, angel.”
Aziraphale opens his mouth. Closes it again. The only sound in the room is the ticking of the ancient clock hanging on the wall.
You’ll never lose me, Aziraphale wants to promise, but he can’t bring himself to speak. He knows he’ll end up rambling uselessly because there are no words to express how he feels about Crowley.
Crowley, who is a demon, and yet cares about Aziraphale-- cares about all of humanity-- so, so much.
So Aziraphale leans forward and kisses him.
Almost immediately, Crowley responds, leaning in towards his touch. Crowley’s hands loop around Aziraphale’s shoulders, tugging him close, and when Aziraphale nudges a thigh between Crowley’s legs, Crowley goes absolutely boneless. He whimpers against Aziraphale’s lips, a sound that sends a flash of unfamiliar heat straight through Aziraphale’s core.
Kissing, he thinks, dazedly. Yet another wonderful thing these humans have invented.
He brings his hands up to cup Crowley’s face, running his thumbs along those gorgeous cheekbones that have fascinated him for ages.
“You taste like sugar,” Crowley mumbles hazily against his mouth.
Aziraphale can’t help the delighted smile that blooms across his face. He breaks the kiss, a little breathless (even though he technically doesn’t need to breathe) and instead presses his forehead against Crowley’s.
Crowley’s eyes are big and wide and filled with something that looks like awe.
“You should stay here,” Aziraphale says, voice gentle and soft and filled with liquid warmth. “You should stay. Live with me, I mean.”
And wow, he didn’t realize it was possible for anybody to blush so hard.
“Okay,” Crowley says simply, and he’s still looking at Aziraphale with wonder in his face. “I can’t believe--”
He shakes his head, pulling away a little bit and letting his eyes roam across Aziraphale’s body. As if checking to make sure he’s really real.
Then Crowley’s brow furrows, just slightly. “If I’m to live here, you’ll need to help me move my plants. I can’t trust them on their own for too long-- they might start acting rebellious.”
Aziraphale laughs, feeling weightless. Happy, because Crowley loves him too. After six millennia, they’re finally starting to figure things out. “Of course, love. Anything you need.”
Crowley looks at him, swallowing hard, gaze darting back down to Aziraphale’s mouth.
Aziraphale answers the unspoken request and just kisses him again, deep and languid and slow, because they have all the time in the world.